Convergence Through Mobile Peer-to-Peer File Sharing in the Republic of Armenia

Katy E. Pearce


Armenians are adopting personal computers and the Internet more slowly than are individuals in neighboring and more economically developed countries. However, mobile phone usage is rapidly expanding. The reasons for this pattern of information and communications technology adoption may be cultural, political, or economic, but the delay in some technological access also, paradoxically, fosters creativity. Through peer-to-peer content sharing via mobile devices, the consumption and exchange of digital content has become quite common. Indeed, these uses of the mobile phone exemplify convergence, the integration of digital audio, video, text, and data, as well as a social change in the way media circulates. Ethnographic research and interviews conducted in Armenia during the spring and summer of 2008 examine how, by whom, and what types of digital content are being socially shared through mobile devices. Theoretical possibilities to explain the social utility of this phenomenon are presented as well.

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